Where to travel now if you’re yearning to explore the great outdoors

Meghauli Serai - Taj Safaris

There’s an endless amount of vacation packages out there. Here’s out list of places to help you enjoy the great outdoors.

Camp in Comfort

Resort at Paws Up in Montana
Resort at Paws Up in MontanaCourtesy photo

Ride the rapids or a horse by day, then let a chef grill you a medium-rare bison steak paired with a big cabernet as the sun sets at the Resort at Paws Up in western Montana. The 37,000-acre spread will open its sixth tented camp, North Bank Camp, on the Blackfoot River this month. Canvas walls define them as tents, but the six units — which include the industry’s first group-friendly two- and three-bedroom tents — come with five-star bedding, en-suite bathrooms and decor straight out of Ralph Lauren ads. Rates from $1,300, all-inclusive; 877-580-6343, www.pawsup.com.

Hike Like an Inca

Explora Valle Sagrado in the Andes Mountains
Explora Valle Sagrado in the Andes MountainsCourtesy photo

Leave the crowds at Machu Picchu to explore less-thronged Inca ruins and the rugged Andes at the new Explora Valle Sagrado. The 50-room modernist retreat functions like a safari lodge, with daily guided excursions primarily to hike or mountain-bike in remote regions. Guests return to limitless pisco sours, gourmet meals and massages dispensed at a 17th-century-mansion-turned-spa. Minding the 9,500-foot elevation, guides start you off with easy ambles among Inca terraces and build to lung-busting treks above 14,000 feet. Two-night minimum stays $1,391 per person, all-inclusive; 866-750-6699, www.explora.com.

Track Tigers in Nepal

Meghauli Serai Jungle Lodge by Taj
Meghauli Serai Jungle Lodge by TajCourtesy photo

There’s more to Nepal than the Himalayas. Chitwan National Park in south-central Nepal is one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger, and the site of the new Meghauli Serai Jungle Lodge by Taj where 12 suites overlook the Rapti River and 16 villas feature plunge pools. Every outing, by canoe or Jeep, on elephant-back or foot, is a safari amid 500 species of birds and 600 species of animals, including the big cats. Bring your heart rate down in the spa, at the infinity pool or over meals under the stars. Rooms from $160; 866-969-1825, www.tajhotels.com.

Trek for Trout

Minam River Lodge, Boulder Cabin Interior
Minam River Lodge, Boulder Cabin InteriorLeon Werdinger

Hike or horseback-ride the 8.5 miles into Minam River Lodge in northeastern Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains. There’s also an airstrip if you insist, but little else — including cell service — to disturb the peace of this 126-acre inholding surrounded by the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Established in 1950, Minam reopens this summer after a six-year restoration, adding teepees and tents. There’s more hiking and riding on-property, as well as access to the trout-filled Niman River. Meals are cooked over open fires and even the hot tub is wood heated. Teepees from $95, cabins from $495; 541-362-4453, www.minam-lodge.com.

Fish Like a Grizzly

Farewell Harbour Lodge in British Columbia
Farewell Harbour Lodge in British ColumbiaCourtesy photo

The Great Bear Rainforest along the coast of British Columbia gets its name from the well-fed grizzlies — some over 1,000 pounds — stocked by the region’s rich salmon runs. See the bears as well as walrus, auklets and orcas from the new Farewell Harbour Lodge while fishing in the famed Broughton Archipelago Marine Park. A series of elevated boardwalks links floating and terrestrial portions of the 12-room lodge, including an oceanside hot tub. In addition to guided bear safaris and fishing trips, the lodge offers rainforest hikes and kayaking excursions. Doubles from $3,230 CAD ($2,374) per person, all-inclusive; 250-897-5940, www.farewellharbour.com.

Take to the Trees

Micro-Cube in Forillon National Park on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula
Micro-Cube in Forillon National Park on Quebec’s Gaspe PeninsulaCourtesy photo

To celebrate its 150th birthday, Canada is granting free admission to all of its national parks where Parks Canada has been experimenting with new accommodations for those lacking hammocks or tents. Try out tiny-house living in the 100-square-foot Micro-Cube in Forillon National Park on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula. Sleep on the sofa or in a hammock in the 65-square-foot teardrop-shaped Goutte d’Ô at Fundy National Park in New Brunswick. Dangle from the trees in view of the sea in the spherical Cocoon Tree Bed at Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. Rates from $70 CAD ($51) to $90 CAD ($66); For more information, visit www.pc.gc.ca or contact parks individually.


Elaine Glusac is a Chicago-based freelance writer.






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